NASA spacecraft nearing second stop: dwarf planet Ceres

SHARE NASA spacecraft nearing second stop: dwarf planet Ceres
SHARE NASA spacecraft nearing second stop: dwarf planet Ceres

PASADENA, Calif. — A NASA spacecraft is preparing to rendezvous with the largest object in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.

The Dawn craft is on target to slip into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday after a three-year journey. It’ll be the second stop for Dawn, which earlier visited the asteroid Vesta.

Dawn has been snapping pictures of Ceres as it nears the Texas-sized object. Sharper images are expected in the coming months as Dawn spirals closer to Ceres’ surface.

Launched in 2007 and powered by ion propulsion, Dawn is the first craft to target two space rocks to learn about the solar system’s evolution.

Dawn studied Vesta, the second massive object in the asteroid belt, from 2011 to 2012 and beamed back more than 30,000 images.

The Latest
An end to gun violence will take more effective gun regulation and long-term solutions that focus on jobs, education, mental health counseling and violence intervention.
The Cubs opened a three-game series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field on Monday.
Johnny Cueto threw six innings of scoreless two-hit ball against the Royals on Monday. He struck out seven.
The $19.5 million PCC Primary Care Pavilion will offer a gym, dance center, demonstration test kitchen, community meeting spaces and a community garden and urban farm to Austin residents to help lower the life expectancy gap.